The Supreme Court on Friday said the courts are not experts in financial matters and disposed of a writ petition seeking fresh loan moratorium relief, extension of time period under the restructuring scheme and temporary cease on the declaration of NPA by banks amid the Covid-19 second wave.
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and M.R. Shah said: “We accept that we aren’t experts in financial matters. We can’t anticipate financial implications. These issues are in the realm of policy decisions.”
The bench emphasized that it is for the government to assess the situation and take appropriate decisions.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari seeking some relief to borrowers during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. The petitioner submitted that the second wave has made at least 1 crore people jobless.
The bench pointed out that the RBI has already announced certain financial packages as per its circular. The petitioner replied it was not sufficient to address the problems of the middle-class families. The bench replied: “We cannot decide financial matters.”
Justice Shah added that the government has other pressing issues to address and pointed at vaccination, issues connected with migrant workers etc. After a brief hearing in the matter, the top court declined to entertain the petition and while disposing of the matter, observed that government should take appropriate decision.
The plea contended that the bank or financial institutions should refrain from taking action for auction in respect of any property of any citizen or person or party or anybody corporate for a period of six months.
The plea urged the top court to issue a direction to the Centre to permit all the financial institutions to grant interest free moratorium period for term loan.
The petitioner also sought deferment of payment of loan instalments for a period of six months or till the Covid-19 crisis continues.
The plea added that no account should be declared as Non-Performing Asset (NPA) for a period of six months, in the backdrop of the surge in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.